If your personal information has been compromised by a data breach, take these five steps to mitigate the damage:
- Read all alerts and notifications from the compromised company
The business whose data has been compromised in the breach will generally reach out to all potential victims to notify them about the exposure. If you believe your information may have been compromised in a breach, it’s important to read every message you receive from the exposed company.
- Alert your financial institution
Next, let TruMark Financial know your account may have been compromised. This way, we’ll know to keep an eye out for signs of fraud and place an alert on your account.
- Change any exposed passwords
A data breach generally means passwords of all kinds may have been compromised. It’s best to change as many as possible after a breach to keep information and money safe. Start by changing passwords you are sure were a part of the breach.
- Consider a credit freeze
A credit freeze will alert lenders and credit companies to the fact that you may have been a victim of fraud. This added layer of protection will make it difficult, or impossible, for hackers to open a new credit line or loan in your name.
- File an identity theft report
If you believe your identity has been stolen, file an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) immediately. This will assist the feds in tracking down the scammers responsible for the data breach. It also will help you return your finances to their usual state as quickly as possible.
Take these precautions to protect your information from future data breaches:
- Monitor your credit for suspicious activity on a regular basis
- Use strong, unique passwords for each account and opt for two-factor authentication when possible
- Never share sensitive information online and always keep your security and spam settings at their strongest levels
For more information on how to protect yourself online, visit https://www.trumarkonline.org/our-story/fraud-awareness/.